Well, y'know, not my FIRST bra, as in, training bra. You know what I mean. And I'm sorry these photos are lame, but I don't have a dress form. You'll notice that I had to tape the crap out of these to get any recognizable shape. I did NOT have the best time with the elastic application (more on that later).
The pattern for the bra is the Anna Crossover Bralette from Ohhh Lulu. The undies were made using the free pattern from So, Zo and this has become a TNT for me. The ones I've made using this pattern are my favorites in my whole top drawer.
The WAVES on this...oh my eyes!
Wanna hear something crazy? I actually made a muslin of the bra! The pattern is designed for a C cup, but Sarah has provided an excellent tutorial on her blog for both a small bust adjustment and a full bust adjustment. Right before I got pregnant (because of course) I did some extensive bra shopping and ended up being most comfortable in a 32D. Specifically, this one from Calvin Klein (I bought a few in different colors). I went ahead and muslined the pattern as-is, but I realized I did need an FBA. Sarah's tutorial made it very easy.
The original pattern piece is on top, the adjusted piece on bottom.
If you know anything about being pregnant, you know that your boobs change size every day. I prefer my Calvin Klein bras for leave-the-house kind of support, but looking ahead I knew I'd need some new bras for nursing. I still have the ones I used for my first child, but I'm also sick and tired of them. Nursing is a beautiful thing, but being restricted to the same few bras for years is not.
The Anna Crossover will be perfect for nursing, since it...crosses over (duh). Until the little one is here, it's a great bra for wearing around the house. I know people hate on underwires, but I'm thinking that some bloggers have yet to experience the havoc that pregnancy can bring to your chesticles :) Underwires trump gravity, mmmkay?
Back sewn closed
I did make a few changes to the pattern besides the FBA. Rather than include a back clasp and regular bra straps with sliders, I sewed the back closed and used straps made from fold-over elastic (I folded it together and sewed it closed). I also did not have pretty elastic for the bottom band, so you can see above my sad regular 1/2" elastic from Wawak.
With these adjustments it only goes on by stretching it over my head, which is fine, and more comfortable.
Something about a matching set feel so grown up, am I right? I ran out of the brown FOE, hence the orange elastic in the waistline. It looks kind of dumb, kind of okay. Meh.
Now, about the elastic. I previously wrote a post about using fold-over elastic to finish edges. Knowing the right way to do it (stretch the elastic, not the fabric) and actually being able to do it are two different things. Even if I thought I wasn't stretching the fabric, my presser foot went ahead and did it for me. Boo. I should have followed my own advice and used glue to baste the FOE before sewing. I wised up by the time I got to the underwear and as you can see, it's nowhere near as stretched out.
In general, I hate sewing knits on my regular machine, but that's the only way to sew FOE. I think I need to experiment more with the size of my zig-zag stitch. A wide stitch seemed to work better. If I had the ability to lessen my presser foot pressure, I would have done that. Lastly, tissue paper between the feed dogs and the garment helped. After making this set, I made another pair of underwear with an extremely lightweight knit and ruffle elastic. I glue-basted the entire thing and it went MUCH better. And look how pretty!
There is one thing I want to mention about the Ohhh Lulu pattern. The back band pattern piece did not line up properly with the side of the cup piece. The pattern only has three pieces...it seemed kind of odd that two did not go together correctly.
That said, the directions were sufficient, even for a novice bra sewist. If you don't follow Sarah on Instagram DO IT! She makes/sells the most beautiful lingerie. I have some stretch lace that I want to use for my next Anna Crossover, and one of these days I'll order proper notions. Sewing underthings can be scary, but seriously, what else are you going to do with those 1/4 yard leftovers you've got hanging out in your stash?